“I don’t usually go out much due to social anxiety, but Boots on the Ground allows me to meet new people in a comfortable environment. It helps me to stay active and learn a lot about things that interest me. It helps me to interact with people and pursue my interests which will hopefully lead to employment soon.”
As Ryan gradually became more involved across sessions, he discovered a real connection with the outdoors and has developed relationships within the group and beyond to wider communities. He was especially interested in conservation and keen to learn more. He has built excellent relationships with a variety of wardens and officers across the environmental sector.
Stepping out of his comfort zone to ask questions and develop skills and knowledge, he is now able to share what he has learned with new participants. Along with six other long-term participants, Ryan has become a peer leader in the group. As such, he and the others have received navigation and mountain skills training to equip them better to plan and lead walks with the support of the project manager.
More recently, he has been co-ordinating independent shark egg surveys between our Wildlife Trust-led sessions. As a result, the trust has invited Ryan to support officers in a shoreline awareness-raising session for the public. He is now in the process of becoming an official Buddy to Buddy and aspires to find work supporting conservation projects locally. In recognition of Ryan’s achievements, he was selected to volunteer in Gibraltar alongside other Alabaré residents from across the organisation.
How you can help
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